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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ruislip Eagles go Top of the Table

RUISLIP Eagles flew to the top of the English National League Play-Off table with an emphatic 42-17 victory over Nottingham University at Greenbank Sports Academy in Liverpool on Sunday.

Bottom of the table and with just the bare seven players available for the match, Nottingham University proved no match for a Ruislip team who brought 11 players North, and dominated the match from start to finish.

Leading 16-5 by half time, the Eagles had Azzedine Messis to thank having scored six goals while Xavier Burrin netter three.

After the break the onslaught continued, but it was Burrin who largely took over the scoring responsibilities with another seven goals, while Messis added four so that both players finished the match on ten goals.

Guillaume Bodet played well for Nottingham and also scored ten goals, but it was never going to be enough to challenge for victory.

Great Dane overtook former leaders Salford when they secured a narrow 29-30 victory over their rivals, ensuring they move up to second spot in the table - level on points with Ruislip - while Salford slip to third.

Salford were 17-16 ahead at half time with Aden Woodall scoring six goals, but Great Dane edged ahead when it mattered, thanks largely to the goal-scoring efforts of Krisz Olschleger who scored 11 times.

Finally, nothing could separate Manchester and Olympia, who drew 21-21 in their play-off match.

With Salford losing Olympia could’ve moved up to third spot if they had won by four goals, but a strong defence from Manchester - led by goalkeeper Zsolt Deak - ensured the spoils were shared.

Minas Georgiou scored ten goals for Manchester and finished as top-scorer, while Schied scored six for Olympia.

The next round of play-off matches is this Sunday, April 3, at Moulton, Northampton.

Salford take on Olympia in the day’s first match, while Great Dane play Nottingham University and Ruislip Eagles play Manchester.

Inter-Borough Tournament Proves Big Hit

Barking Abbey School was crowned champions of the London Inter-Borough Girls Handball Competition last week after an exciting set of matches between teams from across the capital.

A series of games played over ten minutes took place at Newham Leisure Centre, and Barking Abbey ran out winners after a thrilling final against Hackney Free School who were competing in their first ever handball competition.

Not to be missed out, the boys event took place at the same venue later in the week, and it was Carshalton Boys who took the top spot, with Harris boys finishing as runners up and Hackney Free third.

“It was another fantastic event,” said London Handball Development Officer Aranka Bekker. “Every time we run these competitions there are more and more people wanting to play handball.

“And because more and more schools are now putting handball on their curriculum, the standard of competition is ever-improving.”

Northern Schools In Handball Battle

ALMOST two dozen young handball teams from across the North of England took part in the first round of the Under-15 Northern Schools Handball Competition recently.

Eight teams did battle in Bolton, while Culcheth near Warrington saw 15 teams in action.

With many new players on show, the thrilling matches resulted in six boys teams and four girls teams progressing through to the next round of the event.

Boys: Upton-by-Chester, Royton and Crompton, Great Sankey, De La Salle, Culcheth and Blacon High School. Girls: Blacon High School, Birchwood, Parrswood and Siddal Moor Sports College.

They will be competing at Culcheth High School on May 24 to find the North Winner and the two boys teams and two girls teams who will be going to the National finals in June.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eagles Soar to Emphatic Win

RUISLIP Eagles continued their domination of the English Women’s League with an emphatic 33-17 victory over Thames at Leyton SCORE Centre in London on Saturday.

The unbeaten leaders of the table, Ruislip were 17-9 ahead by half time and extended their lead to 33-17 by the final whistle with Telek scoring 11 times, while Papenfuss and Dreksler scored six apiece.

And on the same day, Olympia edged past Cambridge 23-19 to gain revenge for the one-point defeat they suffered to their rivals back in October.

Ahead by just three at half time, Olympia defended well after the break to hold on to their lead. With just the bare seven players available, Cambridge did well to battle through the full hour, and Agi Foglein ended as top-scorer with eight goals, while Ekler scored six and Friggieri five for Olympia.

Finally, former league champions Great Dane could only secure a 23-23 draw with this season’s newcomers Deva, the Chester side proving they are learning fast with a well-deserved point which leaves them second in the table.

The next round of women’s matches are on April 2, when old rivals Ruislip Eagles take on Great Dane. Despite being at opposite ends of the table, the Eagles will be taking nothing for granted.

And on the same day, Thames take on Olympia.

Leaders Salford Face Great Dane

LEADERS Salford take on second-placed Great Dane this Saturday in what could prove to be the turning point of this season’s English Men’s League.

Unbeaten heading into the play-offs, Salford have suffered at the hands of Southern section teams in the play-offs, and will concede top spot this Sunday if they lose the clash at the Greenbank Sports Academy in Liverpool.

The first game of the session sees Nottingham University take on Ruislip Eagles, while Manchester play Olympia before the final game sees the big clash of the afternoon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Legacy Plans Boosted by European Grant

THE growth of handball across England received a major boost this week with the news that the European Handball Federation is making a significant investment in developing the grassroots of the sport.

With the London Olympics now less than 500 days away, handball’s plans to make the sport one of the big success stories from the games are taking shape with tens of thousands of schoolchildren, university students and adults discovering for themselves just how much fun handball is to play and watch.

The money is part of the EHF’s Infrastructure Support Programme, and will be invested in English handball over the next three years.

With the money, England Handball will employ a second Development Officer for London, as well as a Club Support Officer to help clubs across the country grow.

Last year the EHF gave another significant grant to England Handball over three years as part of their SMART Plan, and the new money is in addition to that.

Jean Brihault, Vice-President of the EHF, led a team of officials on a tour of the Olympic Handball Arena during the announcement visit, and they also watched youngsters from two local schools playing handball at Newham Leisure Centre.

“The London 2012 Olympic Games represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a lasting legacy for handball in England,” said Mr Brihault.

“The EHF is pleased to be able to support England Handball’s development plans through this three-year investment, which will enable the employment of a full-time handball development officer in the Olympic host city.”

England Handball have been helped by Sport England in their bid for the extra funding, and Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, added: “Thousands of English youngsters are now discovering the excitement and exhilaration of handball – something many of their European counterparts have long known about. We really welcome the support being given by the European Handball Federation to the development of the sport in this country.”

“This funding will increase the total amount of money provided by the EHF over the last seven months to over a quarter of a million Euros,” said England Handball Chairman Mike Briers.

“We must now press on with our development programme, which is seeing increasing interest and enthusiasm for Handball in schools and universities. The clubs must also continue with their youth programmes to encourage more and more youngsters into this exhilarating world and Olympic sport.

Ruislip Eagles Topple Leaders Salford

RUISLIP Eagles threw the race for the English National League title wide open when they beat table-topping Salford 30-25 in their clash at Moulton, Northampton, on Sunday.

Eight goals from Alex Rabinin and seven from Xavier Burrin helped the Eagles take victory in a hotly-contested clash.

Jack Hennessey scored ten goals for Salford, but it was not quite enough to take the win.

That result means there are now three teams all on eight points.

But the fate of the title could be decided in the next round of matches on March 26, when leaders Salford take on second-placed Great Dane.

Great Dane maintained their hopes with a 23-15 win over Manchester, but they had to rely on a second half fightback to secure the win.

With just nine players available, Manchester did well to be leading 9-8 at half time, but they faded in the second period as Great Dane, who had a full complement of 14 players, won the last 30 minutes 15-6 to take victory.

And in the day’s other clash, Olympia made it a hat-trick of wins for southern-based teams when they beat Nottingham university 29-20.

Schools Battle for National Honours

YOUTH handball teams from across the South battled it out for a place in the next round of the National Under-15s Schools Handball Championships at Leyton SCORE Centre in London recently.

The southern heats of the tournament attracted dozens of teams from across London and beyond, and resulted in four boys teams and three girls teams making it through to the second round of the event, which will be staged on Wednesday, May 11.

Woodside High School from Haringey was among the successful boys teams, as well as Aylesbury Grammar School, Carshalton Boys Sports College in Surrey and The Coopers Company and Coborn School in Essex.

And the three successful girls teams who go forward in the competition are Tower Hamlets, Helenswood and Barking Abbey.

“Handball continues to prove very popular,” said London Handball Development Officer Ari Bekker. “We had a great turnout of teams - more than ever before - and the matches were great to watch.

“The skills on show are improving all the time, as handball continues to be introduced to schools across the region, just as it is across the country.”

Photo: Eric Dol / Tower Hamlets School Sports Partnership.

Regional Championships, Round Two

THIS Saturday sees the latest set of matches in the Under-16 Regional Handball Championships take place at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton.

The event sees boys and girls teams from counties across England take part in a series of 24 matches, starting with the final group matches and culminating in the finals later in the day.

In the boys event, teams from Cheshire, Bedfordshire, Staffordshire, London, Lancaster, Manchester and Merseyside will do battle, while the girls event has attracted entries from Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester and Merseyside.

The first matches are at 9.30am, with both the boys and girls finals scheduled for 1.40pm.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Speke Garston Beat Deva to Book Last Eight Spot

LIVERPOOL Speke Garston booked their place in the quarter finals of the EHA Cup when they secured a 33-25 victory over rivals Deva at Greenbank Sports Academy on Sunday.

Ten goals from Smith helped Speke Garston to victory - his five in the first half helped them to a 19-11 lead at the break, and they continued to dominate after the break.

Deva’s top scorer was Steffan who also bagged ten goals, while Steve Jameson added eight, but it was not enough to secure the win.

Speke Garston’s reward for the victory was a clash with Manchester in the last eight of the competition.

Elsewhere, Leeds University will play National League play-off leaders Salford in the next round after beating Cambridge 30-29 in a thrilling clash at Moulton, near Northampton.

Manchester cruised into the last eight with a 25-11 win over Oxford University at Leyton SCORE Centre in London, but at just 6-9 ahead at half time they had to turn the style on in the second half to overcome a stubborn Oxford outfit.

The Mancunians looked hesitant in attack, and the lack of organisation and poor shot efficiency allowed Oxford to stay on their heels by just a few goals.

But a Manchester timeout gave them time to sort their patterns out, and keeping their defensive solidarity and building more coordinated attacks, Manchester finished the first half three goals ahead (9-6).

After the break Manchester were more accurate in attack, and were helped by a great goalkeeping show from Deak who only conceded five.

Salford reached the quarter finals when they beat Manchester University 29-18, while Liverpool Wolves hammered Bristol 40-19 in their second round match to reach the last eight.

Wolves’ reward for their win is a clash with Ruislip Eagles, while Olympia play Great Dane in the final quarter final match.

Those games - and the Plate matches for teams knocked out of the Cup - are scheduled for the weekend of April 9-10.

EHA Cup: Manchester Univ hold Olympia to Draw

WOMEN’S Development League leaders Manchester University battled to a thrilling 13-13 draw with National League outfit Olympia in the EHA Women’s Cup on Saturday.

The student side lost out to Great Dane in their opening clash of the Cup pool last month, but upped their game significantly and proved a good match for Olympia.

In other Women’s Cup action, Deva beat Cambridge 23-20 with Popa scoring nine goals for Deva, while Agi Foglein scored seven for Cambridge.

And league leaders Ruislip Eagles cruised past Thames 37-24 with Dani Sposi scoring 15 times.
Maria Kourdoulos scored nine for Thames, but it was not enough to avoid defeat.

Wolves Crowned Youth League Champs

WARRINGTON Wolves Girls were crowned AASE Youth League champions last weekend, despite losing their first league match of the season to rivals Deva in their final match.

The final two matches of the season took place on Sunday, and the first saw them secure a convincing 9-4 victory over Manchester Hawks. Leanne Kindley was the most valuable player for this match, scoring some crucial goals.

They then faced second-placed Deva, and it was always going to be a much tougher match. But due to their domination throughout the season, the Wolves already had the league title under their belts.

The Wolves were first out the blocks with Sophie Unsworth taking full advantage of some poor Deva defending and scoring three goals in quick succession. However, Deva tightened up and began to whittle the score back to pull level.

The two teams were locked together for the majority of the game after that. Deva had the chance to take a convincing lead on several occasions but were denied by first class acrobatics from goal keeper Kara Hunte.

Beth Wilbraham scored some fantastic long range efforts which put the Wolves ahead but they were unfortunately equaled shortly after by Deva’s fast breaks.

As the final whistle blew, Deva found themselves just one goal ahead of the Wolves, despite Warrington’s best efforts in what proved to be one of the most dramatic game of the season.

Although they lost, it didn’t take long for the girls to get over it and begin their celebrations as the new champions of the EHA Under 18s AASE league.

Lottery Win for Tryst Handball Club

TRYST 77 Handball Club in Scotland has been awarded £1,600 to help with their Handball For All scheme.

The grant was awarded by the People’s Postcode Lottery to support the scheme, which aims to increase awareness of the club and participation in the sport across all age groups by providing fun and enjoyable coaching for all that will also improve health and fitness.

People’s Postcode Trust Advisor Clare Oliver said: “The project is one which will hugely benefit the surrounding community, and People’s Postcode Trust is delighted to be a part of it.

“Three pounds from every monthly ticket is awarded to charities, and People’s Postcode Trust has already received more than £1.7 million, which has funded 306 projects across Great Britain.”

Project Manager Dennis Brown said “We’re so pleased to have been successful in our application. We’d like to say a massive thank you to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, as this will make such a difference to us, and the local community.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Olympia Topple Leaders Salford

OLYMPIA threw the race for the English National League title wide open when they convincingly beat league leaders Salford 30-18 in the first play-off match at Greenbank Sports Academy in Liverpool.

The defeat was Salford’s first of the season, and cuts their lead at the top of the play-off table to just two points with Great Dane, Manchester and Ruislip all breathing down their neck.

An early clash of heads between Salford’s Jake Williams and Olympia goalkeeper Mohammed Elkedim led to a lengthy delay, with Williams knocked out for a number of minutes and left needing hospital treatment.

The stoppage left Salford clearly rattled, and they were 15-5 down at half time. They battled back after half time, but they could not reduce the deficit with seven goals from Thomas Schied underpinning the win for Olympia.

Later in the day, Manchester beat Ruislip Eagles 24-20 in a close match.

Manchester took an early lead, opening up the Ruislip defensive line and scoring from several six-metre shots. Ruislip desperately tried different formations to stem the flow but Manchester mixed up their attacking options and continued their free-scoring ways which helped them to a 14-10 lead at the break.

But with just eight players remaining, Manchester began to tire and Ruislip closed the gap to just one goal.
But strong defence and good fast breaks kept Manchester’s tally ticking over, and they held on for the win.

Finally, in the day’s other match Great Dane beat Nottingham 25-19.

The play-offs continue on March 13 with another set of matches at Moulton, Northampton, from 12-6pm.

Thames Overcome League Champions

EVER-improving Thames Ladies secured a nail-biting 19-18 victory over reigning English League champions Great Dane at Leyton SCORE Centre in London on Sunday.

With the scores level at 18-18 and two minutes remaining, Thames’s Nikoletta Papp scored from the back court over Great Dane’s defence to secure the win.

Thames were ahead 14-11 at half time after controlling the game well.

But coming out after the half-time break more determined, Great Dane rallied round to bring the score to level, at which it remained until the final two minutes.

Fiorella Franzini of Great Dane was declared player of the match, and she also was top scorer for her team with eight goals. For Thames, Live Kolstad Kvalsvik was top scorer with six.

In other women’s league action, Ruislip overwhelmed Cambridge 31-13.

Photo: Nick Kourdoulos

Berkshire Boys Get Handball Bug!

A GROUP of boys from Oratory School in Reading became the latest people to catch the handball bug, when they took part in a session while on a study visit to France.

The group from the Woodcote-based school were guests of LSF Montpellier for a French language course.

Their teacher, Anne Tuite-Dalton, is originally from Montpellier and helped to organise a handball session for the boys which took place with one of the MAHB coaches at the Palais des Sports René Bougnol where the professional Montpellier team play.

Following this session the boys had the chance to watch the professional team train, including four world champions in Nikola Karabatic, Michael Guigou, William Accambray and Samuel Honrubia.

Afterwards, the group got to meet their new heroes, who signed autographs and posed for photographs.

Drugs: What's Your Opinion?

RESEARCHERS looking at attitudes to drugs in sport are appealing for help from handball athletes to gauge attitudes to doping.

The Leeds Met University study is hoping to gain further understanding of athletes’ attitudes and beliefs towards doping in order to inform anti-doping education to help prevent future doping use by athletes.

The short questionnaire is for over-18s only, but can be completed by anybody - from internationals to club players.

The online survey is available here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/performance_enhancement

East Kilbride Handball Event

ONE of the oldest handball clubs in Britain, East Kilbride are staging a youth tournament later this year in the town just south of Glasgow.

The club have staged the tournament for more than 20 years, and the latest event is on September 3-4. Categories include under-12, under-14, senior men and women.

For more details please contact club secretary Andy Wallace on 07816 419671.